The academic year consists of three terms. Most undergraduate programmes consist of modules that are delivered in semester 1 (September to December) and in semester 2 (January to May). Semester 3 runs over the summer months, and applies only to Accelerated Degree programmes and the Mental Health Nursing programme.
Undergraduate programmes typically consist of four stages, each taking one academic year of full-time study. If a student commences study in part-time mode it will normally take at least two years for them to complete each stage of the programme. To complete each stage they will need to achieve 120 Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) credits at the appropriate level.
Undergraduate modules are generally 20 credits, although some modules, such as projects or placements, could be 40 or 60 credits to allow for greater focus and depth of study. Our modular system is designed to give students maximum flexibility during their study with us. As well as the modules that form the core of the programme, many programmes have optional modules that allow students to tailor their programme to meet their interests or career aspirations.
Students have the opportunity to take elective modules in year 1 and year 2 on a wide range of topics outside of their main subject area. These are designed to broaden students' knowledge, deepen their understanding of the social and physical world and enhance their critical and academic skills.
Modules may be assessed by coursework, coursework and examinations, or occasionally by examinations only. Coursework assessments are particularly important because they allow students to find out how well they are progressing, and they count towards the final grade for the module. For most modules, all the assessment will be completed within the term in which the module is taken.
To progress to the next stage of a programme, students will be expected to have passed all the modules in their current stage, although sometimes it may be possible to carry a single 20-credit module failure into the next stage.
Reassessment for term 1 modules takes place in April, for term 2 modules in June, and for term 3 modules (where taken) in January. Where reassessment is needed for coursework, rather than an examination, it may be offered earlier.
Our modular scheme opens up a wide range of opportunities for part-time learning. Many of our undergraduate programmes can be studied on a part-time basis during the day. The flexibility of the University’s modular scheme means students can study for as few modules as they deem appropriate (perhaps just one), depending on their aspirations.
Studying in this way involves attending classes during the day. Each module will take approximately three hours of university attendance per week (e.g. one hour of lecture time and two hours of laboratory or tutorial time).